A frustrated federal judge lashed the Trump administration Thursday and threatened to hold Attorney General Jeff Sessions in contempt after being told the government had deported an asylum seeker despite clear assurances she wouldn’t be touched.
Judge Emmet G. Sullivan said the government had “spirited away” the woman and her child, sticking them on a place back to El Salvador early in the morning even though she was a plaintiff in a groundbreaking case aiming to overturn the administration’s new stricter asylum policy.
It was the latest black eye for the administration’s deportation machinery, which just weeks ago drew the ire of other judges after admitting hundreds of illegal immigrant parents were ousted from the country without their children during the chaos of the zero-tolerance border policy.
The courts are still trying to sort out that mess, but Judge Sullivan wasn’t about to let this latest snafu drag on.
“Turn that plane around,” he ordered, adding he would start holding officials in contempt of the court if they didn’t get the woman and her daughter back immediately.
“I’m gonna start with the attorney general,” he promised.